Flesh and Blood

I’ve been avoiding this topic for a while now because I wanted to write from a positive place, rather than just vent to the precious folk who read these posts. Like many of you, life has dealt me my fair share of valleys, brambles and tears. 

​At the time, the experience can be all consuming and despite our best efforts, spill over into the workplace or our time with friends and family.

​As it passes (sometimes years later) the light begins to shine on certain memories, and the pain that once accompanied them is dulled. The dust settles and we begin to see what remains. It’s still a mess, but one we can look at.

Sifting through the clutter we inspect items here and there to work out where they belong. Some go in boxes, some are discarded and others are placed on high shelves for safekeeping. Bit by bit our internal storage system is placed in order. It’s not exactly how we’d like it to be, but we can at least deal with it.

I’ve done that with many situations throughout life. Occasionally I find myself lifting the roller-door to make sure things are in place, checking on specific items and moving others to a more suitable position.

Recently however, someone crept in and disrupted my order.

Without warning, I found the door open with a range of memories cast on the floor. Items thrown down the driveway and onto the curb – out in public where people could see.

A violent gust swept through - plucking scraps of paper, letters and cards from where they had been carefully placed, and tossing them into the air. All my hard work – forgiving – growing – moving on and letting go – was so quickly undermined. I was surprised by how readily my heart ran fast and my face became hot.

I wanted to tell the world who had done this. I wanted to spew forth words to even the score and set the record straight. I needed someone to acknowledge the mess that had been made…again!

…After all the cleaning up I had done.

 …After all the effort that it took.

Of course I didn’t do that. But the few words I did say made me seem bitter and unforgiving, and I knew I was neither. I was just hurt. When anything inflicts pain we react. Someone put pressure on a scar and I felt something.

I chastised myself for the following weeks – checking to see if I had truly forgiven and moved on – until I finally acknowledged the longevity of some wounds and how unrealistic it is was to expect the deepest of those to ever heal completely.

That’s why we have scars, I suppose. Not just to remind us of what happened, but to remind us that we are flesh and blood – capable of being hurt and feeling pain – of being permanently changed.

I don’t really know where the wisdom is in this, other than to say that I have cut myself some slack on the whole live-and-let-live thing, and I hope you do too.

I will be better prepared next time, because I’ll tell myself it’s ok to feel. I’ll acknowledge the depth of the experience and allow myself time to cry, to grieve, or just remember.

It’s something I survived;

something that shaped who I am.

And if that means I don’t always keep it together, then that’s ok.



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